Moravian University announced that the Very Reverend Katherine Hancock Ragsdale will serve as interim vice president and dean of Moravian Theological Seminary and Lancaster Theological Seminary until the naming of a permanent dean following a national search.
“Rev. Dr. Ragsdale is known for her deep commitment to advancing theological education, her advocacy and activism, and extensive experience in leading nonprofit organizations on a national level,” said Carol Traupman-Carr, provost and vice president for academic affairs at Moravian University. “I look forward to having Dr. Ragsdale on the team as we continue the remaining work of consolidating the two seminaries, implementing a new joint curriculum, finishing accreditation materials, and setting the way forward for the new permanent dean to lead the seminaries.”
Ragsdale has an AB (English and Religion) from the College of William & Mary, a Master of Divinity from Virginia Theological Seminary, and a Doctor of Ministry from the Episcopal Divinity School with a focus in professional ethics. She is an ordained Episcopal priest who served six years as president and dean of the Episcopal Divinity School where she also was a professor of Theology. She has been managing partner of RNL Associates, a consulting firm that provides services to religious, educational, and nonprofit organizations, before becoming president and CEO of the National Abortion Federation. She is founding co-chair of LGBTQ Presidents in Higher Education, and a former senior fellow for Interfaith Leadership and Religious Literacy for the Arthur Vining Davis Foundations.
Among her publications are three chapters she co-authored in LGBTQ Leadership in Higher Education (2022), and a chapter she authored, “Disrupting the Institutional Imagination: A Seminary for the 21st Century,” in What Shall We Become: The Future and Structure of the Episcopal Church (2013).
Ragsdale’s interim appointment follows the departure of the Rev. Heather Campain Hartung (formerly Vacek) who has joined the Association of Theological Schools, a theological education accrediting organization, as a director of accreditation.